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Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Lawyer | Romantic Suspense Author | Speaker | TV Junkie | Foodie | Sweet Wine Addict | Savvy Shopper You can visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. You can also connect with me online @ thewritepen (Twitter and Facebook). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Review of Soulmates Dissipate by Mary B. Morrison

No one ever said being in a relationship was easy but when a third person gets involved it makes it that more complicated. Well, if you are looking for a book that takes drama to another level, then Soulmates Dissipate certainly fits the bill.

In this novel, Jada Diamond Tanner is a very successful photographer who is madly in love with Wellington Jones, her soul mate. They are engaged to be married on Valentine’s Day but with the date fast approaching Wellington’s conniving mother, Cynthia Jones, has other plans for her son. Enter Melanie Thompson; a childhood friend whom Cynthia feels is more suited for her son.  Melanie is sexy and tempting and also Wellington’s houseguest. At first, Jada distrusts Melanie but eventually, she begins to warm up to the idea of her being a houseguest thinking that Wellington only has eyes for her because they are soul mates.

But Melanie along with the prompting of Cynthia begins to make her move on Wellington right under Jada’s nose. And after a night of drinking and inviting Melanie to join them in bed, things go all the way wrong. The wedding is off, Melanie is pregnant and Wellington made her his wife. To make matters even worse, Melanie is now Jada’s boss and Wellington makes some painful discoveries.

Overall, the plot was good but there were times where I had to read certain details twice because they were somewhat convoluted. I know that folks can get caught up in the moment but I didn’t understand why Wellington would chastise Jada when she went nuts after hearing that Melanie was pregnant. To me, the reaction was to be expected especially when Melanie was flaunting everything that should have been hers. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining read despite the few hiccups in some of the character’s motivation which seemed at times to be unrealistic.

Some of my favorite lines:
            Melanie turned toward the stairs. “Don’t you take your ass up those stairs until I know what the hell is going on!” Jada screamed with authority.
            “Let’s go in the family room,” suggested Wellington.
            Melanie sat in the reclining chair near the fireplace. Wellington sat on the couch. Jada braced herself on the edge of the sofa next to him.
            “I have some no-so-good news,” said Wellington. “But it’s not something we can’t work out.”
            Jada looked at Wellington. Melanie smiled mischievously. “What are you saying?” Jada’s voice was faint.
            “Wellington rubbed his goatee. “Melanie is pregnant.”
            “Well, obviously it’s not yours. Hell, this shit just happened last night!”
             Melanie remained silent. Wellington took a deep breath. His hands covered his face. He reached for Jada’s hand. She moved it. “I have to be totally honest with you ba. Last night wasn’t the first time.”

            Jada’s eyes rolled to the back of her head. Before she realized what she’d done, her backhand landed on the side of Wellington’s face. She jumped up from the couch and headed for Melanie. Melanie scrambled but she couldn’t get up fast enough. Neither could Wellington. Jada reached back to 2000 B.C. Melanie saw it coming but couldn’t escape. Melanie saw stars as she slid across the Billie Holiday rug like she was sliding into home plate—head first. Well, at lease found the ring. Jada didn’t wait for any further explanations. She walked out and slammed the door. 

Rating:  3 Stars


Monday, April 24, 2017

Interview with Koos Verkaik, Author of The Dance of the Jester

Author’s Bio: Koos Verkaik started writing at the age of 7, his comic Scotty Clay was published in a magazine (3 pages each week) when he was only 16 and wrote his first published novel, Adolar, when he was 18.

He is a Dutchman, having published over 60 different titles now and his best work is also available in English. Well-known is his series of children’s books, Alex and the Wolpertinger; working on book 14, he intends to write 30 different titles at least (LadyBee Publishing, Canada)! His urban fantasy novels are published by Sarah Book Publishing, Texas, USA, Start Publishing New York, and Evolutionary Publishing, Canada.

Koos: “Hurray for the internet! My agent lives in New Zealand, my publishers are in the USA and in Canada!”

Koos writes every day and never had a writers’ block.  

Quotation: “I am a very fast worker; always have been, always sitting behind the keyboard and write! It is not a neurosis or so, it's just that I have a lot to tell…” (Newspaper of The Hague).

What inspired you to write your book?
KV: Mostly all I need is one sentence or even one word to inspire me. For The Dance of the Jester it was the word ‘minion’. I was reading a book about the European middle ages. Kings, queens, noblemen and rich merchants had minions who dressed exactly the same as themselves; minions were favorites with very special privileges. I wanted to write about the insanity of power and greed and created a Second Renaissance where tycoons rule and name themselves Kings and Queens.

In short:
Suddenly, at the end of the twenty-first century, world changes.
The tycoons rule. GREED is the word!
They are times of extravagance and decadence, extreme power and richness.
The world is one big party.
And there is chaos!
No one seems to wonder how this all had come to be.
No one seems to wonder what is actually happening.
No one seems to care about anything anymore.
Except for some odd outsiders.
One of them is Oscar Man, the illegitimate son of tycoon Otto Man. Once he was a prince; then he became a pariah, with nothing to lose for himself and so much to win for the world…In these turbulent times, the Second Renaissance, strange creatures come into power and try to subject every single human being.
But Oscar Man appears to be a very strange creature too and he shows the way to freedom; his journey leads him from Switzerland to the USA and back, searching for a special manuscript that will bring the highly necessary revelation.
The enemy makes the poor jester Oscar Man dance. But ultimately the former prince will manage to solve the world’s biggest problems ever!

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
KV: A Dutch journalist, Fije Wieringa, wrote about that:

Once I asked the Dutch author Koos Verkaik, whose reputation in the Netherlands is similar to that of Stephen King, which book had influenced him the most in his life. Without losing a second he replied, “Alice in Wonderland, that is such a weird and scary book. A lot scarier than any of my own horror and ghost stories.”

I admire Edgar Allan Poe and some of his stories really scared me. But, to be honest, my favorite author is still Jack Vance! And now I learn more and more about the intriguing writer Philip K.  Dick – try to get as much information about his life as possible.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
KV: I have written over 60 different titles. Writing The Dance of the Jester took me a year. I first wrote it in Dutch and then translated it into English. Of course I sent it to an editor in the USA then (Mrs. Anne Geiberger), to do the necessary corrections; a manuscript must be 100% all right! What happens next, can be read in the foreword of this book:

My agent in the USA suggested I ask Bill Thompson to read The Dance of the Jester. Bill was the editor of the first books of Stephen King and John Grisham, a charismatic man of great reputation. He read the manuscript and invited me to discuss it with him.

On a scorching hot day, we found ourselves in his office in the Empire State Building in New York and together we revised and polished the manuscript and made changes in the plot. He was more than satisfied with the story, and in the meantime, he has read more of my manuscripts.
I thank Big Bill Thompson for his help and friendship.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
KV: Every writer has his special habits. I am rather chaotic and make notations everywhere. Writing the book is making order in that chaos – clean my desk, clean my head. I don’t need a complicated outline, just start writing. On my laptop, of course – but I always write the first pages with a pen! When I feel the story will be all right, I put pen and paper away and start working on the computer.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
KV: I always listen to music when I work. Radio or CD’s. Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde has always been inspiring and I love American and English blues. There is no theme song for The Dance of the Jester. My next book is Wolf Tears: I did some music myself for that, you can find it here:
https://soundcloud.com/user-224641692/09-wolf-tears. I play all the instruments myself.

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
KV: This is what the editor-in-chiefs say: “We publish your book, but it still will remain your book and you have to take care of it. Of course publishers will help you everywhere they can, but as a writer you must do the utmost to promote your own work.

I read an interesting article on the internet about someone saying that it is so good that there are literary agencies. The literary agent sifts good and bad and only the real authors get a fair chance.
The market is flooded with junk, with books that shouldn’t be on the market at all – and more than often the E-book versions are for free! So it is not easy to promote your work. Fortunately, I have survived through the years and have been able to write and publish so many books.

When you finally manage to become an established writer, things get easier. The Dance of the Jester was noticed by 3 Corners Entertainment and they offered me a contract for film – I also signed a contract for film with them for another book: HIM, After the UFO Crash. This will bring my work under the attention of a bigger audience!

What advice would you give to new authors?
KV: I have said this many times before: actually, there is no advice. For when you are a real writer, nothing will stop you and you will go your own way. All I can say is that it is not easy, especially not when you find out that writing isn’t your skill after all. Of course I can say: “Get a job and write in your free time,” for that might be the smartest way to do it. But the truth is, that you have to figure it all out for yourself. Read lots of books, both fiction and non-fiction) and try to write every day.

How about sharing an excerpt from The Dance of the Jester?
Joseph Krocht had a passion for the sea and sailors in general, and his heroes were Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus in particular. He preferred to rule his enterprises from the comfort of his luxury ship that constantly sailed the oceans.

The symbol of Man-Mandate Enterprises was a statue of a man in armor with head down and hands resting on the hilt of a sword that was stuck in the ground between his feet.

The symbol of Cabo de Barra was also a statue—all the powerful multinationals loved their sculpture—a statue of a sailor in knee breeches, long hair waving in the wind, his shirt open showing his chest. His bare, lower legs disappeared into iron waves. His arms hung alongside his body, and in one of his hands, he held an old-fashioned pistol with a short barrel. At first glance the statue seemed to be of a fearless, intransigent sailor, a freebooter perhaps, a pirate in his prime. It was whispered, however, that the statue was indeed supposed to represent all the victims of the cruelty imposed by jurisdiction at sea.

The young man had apparently been convicted of committing some crime and subsequently condemned to be left behind on a sandbar. As his ship headed toward the horizon with full sails, he felt the water start to rise around his calves. This was the hour of his death, and it was up to him to decide whether or not he should use the pistol or let the powder get wet and swim until he drowned.

Out in the middle of the ocean somewhere, Joseph Krocht proclaimed himself emperor and put a crown on his head. When he later returned to his base in Atlanta, Georgia, where Cabo de Barra’s main office was located, a feast was held that went on for two weeks. At the height of the celebrations, he passed his crown on to his son Walter Krocht. No one ever considered the possibility that he would name himself emperor of a tiny island in the Pacific; he demanded to be called The emperor of Georgia.

What’s next for you?

KV: After The Dance of the Jester came Wolf Tears and I have lots of new manuscripts in stock (wrote them in Dutch, translated them into English). Hope The Dance of the Jester and HIM, After the UFO Crash will be filmed soon. My agent works with my series of children’s books Alex and the Wolpertinger; she is looking for animation companies/studios and of course I wrote screenplays for it. In the mean time I work on new books. Every day, weekends included. 

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)? 
It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.


Monday, April 10, 2017

An Interview with Jae Sherwood, Author of Little Leona Of Monsters and Fire

Author’s Bio:  Jae Sherwood lives in Annapolis, MD and writes creative nonfiction and poetry for children and adults.  Previously a stay at home mom to three amazing people and then later a middle school English teacher, she is now redirecting her time and energy to focus on her writing.  Jae is currently working to expand the Little Leona safety series with more picture books that tell stories of how kids can keep themselves safe in various situations.

What inspired you to write your book?
JS: As a mother, I loved reading quality books to my children, books that were interesting to me as well and had some sort of message to them.  When I started the poem about a little girl playing dress up and fighting imaginary monsters, it morphed into her fighting a dragon, then morphed into the dragon being a metaphor for a fire.  Finally, I saw that I could relay a message about fire safety through the text and illustrations.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
JS: Yes, I was heavily influenced by an older version of Beauty and the Beast and The Boy Who Drew Cats.  Both were large hardback books with gorgeous illustrations.  I loved reading these to my children.  Also, Dr. Seuss played a role in that I found my children loved the rhyme.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
JS: This is my first book.  From start to finish it took a year to have a printed copy in my hand.  Much time was spent with the illustrator getting the illustrations exactly right.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
JS: It just came out, almost all at once.  Of course I edited over months, but the body of the poem came out in one sitting.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
JS: No, I don’t listen to music.  I find it too distracting.  I do love opening the window and listening to the wind or if I’m really lucky, the rain.

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
JS: Perseverance.  Plain and simple.  I went on my own to the Annapolis Fire Department and asked them to read the book and then asked them for an endorsement.  Not only did they endorse Little Leona, but they are now using it in their child safety education programs in the schools.  I applied for awards and won the silver award from Mom’s Choice.  I held book signings at my own expense, gave almost 100 copies of my book away to organizations I thought might endorse the book, I begged local vendors to carry my book in their stores, etc. etc.  When the job of marketing my book started to interfere with my writing time, I hired a publicist to help me out.  Eclectic PR was able to get me a television interview and helped with scheduling more book signings.

What advice would you give to new authors?
JS: Don’t write unless you’re passionate about it.  But if you are, just persevere and in some way, shape or form, you will be successful.

How about sharing an excerpt from Little Leona Of Monsters and Fire?

Little Leona learns quite young
That there are monsters to be slayed
So she dons her dress
And combat boots
For she is not afraid.

Her mother’s mismatched earrings
She wears for luck, you see
And Daddy’s old tie
A scarf around her neck
Hangs way down to her knees.

Her baby blanket becomes her cape
Flowing from her back
And in her hand
Is Grandpa’s cane
With which she can attack.

Leaping Leona emerges at last
From behind her bedroom door
Tilts her head
Listens closely
Is there stomping on the floor?

Hearing nothing she takes a breath
And marches forth in stride
Looking amid the shadows
And all those places
Where monsters tend to hide.

What’s next for you?
JS: I’m working on the next book in the series titled Little Leona and a Chessie Tale.  It’s a book about water safety which takes place on the Chesapeake Bay.  Leona and her crew go sailing one day and run into Chessie (our own Loch Ness monster legend) which is a metaphor for a storm.  In the chaos, someone goes overboard, but because Leona knows what to do, she gets all of her crew safely to shore.   It should be out later this year.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
·         Website:  www.little-leona-books.com
·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jae.Sherwood
·         Twitter:  @poetsdaughtr
·         Blog: www.little-leona-books.com/blog/    
·         Book buy Links:
Amazon:

Barnes and Noble: 

From Maple Creek Media:

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.




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